Interserve staff ‘left in the lurch’ as fit-out division scaled down

Grant Prior 5 years ago
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Interserve is scaling down its Paragon fit-out business.

The Enquirer understands staff at the London based firm entered a redundancy consultation period last month.

It is understood that a raft of senior management have also left with many joining rival ISG.

Remaining staff told the Enquirer they have been “left in the lurch” by their former bosses and parent company Interserve.

One said: “Those of us still here are being left to try and manage failing legacy refurbishment projects with little or no staff.

“We’ve had no communication, no leadership and no clarity from head office.

“Remaining staff are torn between loyalty to the project and personal reputation but there’s zero motivation knowing when your project finishes you’re out.”

Interserve confirmed a “reorganisation and strategy update of its Paragon and London and South East Fit-Out businesses.”

An Interserve spokesman also confirmed “a number of directors have left Paragon.”

He added: “It is wrong to suggest that staff have been ‘left in the lurch’ as colleagues in Paragon continue to receive the full support of the new management team backed by Interserve Construction’s significant resources

“We have engaged extensively with staff on this issue and will continue to do so as we implement the new strategy with a renewed focus on our clients.”

Interserve said: “Following a review process, Interserve will create a more sustainable, manageable and profitable business, narrowing its strategic focus to target attractive risk-adjusted returns in the sectors where it has a market leading customer proposition, combined with the resource and expertise to deliver them profitably.

“As previously announced, Interserve Construction has started to wind down services that are not core to its future offering and remains focused on the successful completion and commercial close out of a small number of underperforming fit-out contracts.

“Interserve will continue to identify opportunities to improve cost efficiency and effectiveness across the fit-out business, in line with the Group’s broader ‘Fit for Growth’ programme, which is already delivering material cost savings and a simpler and more effective business and operating structure.”

Mark Buckle has been confirmed as new Divisional Director for London and the South East while Mark Smith has been appointed as the Commercial Director for the London and South East Fit-Out business.

One subcontractor said: “This management change will be a breath of fresh air and will strengthen the business considerably.”

George Franks, Managing Director, Interserve Construction said: “Under the leadership of Mark Buckle and with a strengthened senior team, Interserve’s Paragon, and London & South East Fit-Out business will be more efficient and have a clearer focus on its core capabilities and service offering to clients.

“We believe that these changes will set the business on the path to future success.”

Interserve pulled-out of the London new build market last year as part of its Fit for Growth programme.

The London construction division became part of the Paragon fit-out business which was headed by then managing director Matt Bray.

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